Discovery Park of America Announces Free Admission for Children in January and New Exhibits for 2022

Union City, Tenn.— Thanks to a partnership with Magnolia Place Assisted Living, children 17 and younger will receive free admission to Discovery Park of America in January 2022.

Magnolia Place’s support is being made in memory of Bart White who was a long-time board member and board president of Magnolia Place. “Bart White was a true servant of our community and a good friend to us all,” said Cindy Cox, administrator of Magnolia Place. “This year, we see this as a way we can honor Bart while helping even more young people have an opportunity to visit Discovery Park.”

Discovery Park has developed a strong reputation for being a museum that is both educational and fun for young visitors. Tennessee Tourism’s recent award-winning Kid Reviewed campaign incorporated a wearable device called the Laugh Tracker. The device tracked laughter and heart rate to measure excitement of children at more than 30 Tennessee attractions including Discovery Park. The data was then paired with candid reviews to scientifically prove where kids have the most fun. Young people at Discovery Park experienced “75 average laughs and 162.3 average moments of excitement per hour.”

In 2022, there will be many opportunities for “moments of excitement” for children and adults at Discovery Park including three temporary exhibits. “The Fascinating World of Murray Hudson’s Globes and Maps” will shine a spotlight on one of the most unique collections of globes and maps in the world. Hudson is a former English professor, stockbroker and farmer from Dyersburg, Tenn., who owns the largest private collection of for-sale antiquarian maps, globes, books and prints in the world. On display will be early maps from the 16th century to the present, items of historic relevance and incredible globes that could pass for works of art. Those exploring the exhibit will also get to see rare globes that range from a two-and-a-half-foot wide diplomat’s globe from 1918 that focuses on political geography to one of the smaller curiosities in his collection, an 1840s boxed globe from Germany that shows Texas as an independent republic, just before it was annexed by the United States. This exhibit is sponsored by Conley and Conley Attorneys at Law.

“Southern Artist Showcase: Hattie Marshall-Duncan” will be at Discovery Park May 27 to Oct. 24, 2022. Self-taught sculptor, Hattie Marshall-Duncan of Jackson, Tenn., turns common household items and found objects that are often overlooked into distinguished masterpieces. Hattie’s work is reflective of her African American community and family. Recipient of the 2019 Tennessee Governor’s Arts Award, Marshall-Duncan’s art is displayed statewide in various galleries including Discovery Park’s partner in this exhibit, the West Tennessee Regional Art Center.

Making its Tennessee debut June 18, 2022 to Jan. 8, 2023, “Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” includes a series of immersive galleries featuring one-of-a-kind, hands-on interactive Steampunk sculptures. Steampunk typically combines the romanticism of the Victorian Era, steam-powered technology and science fiction. The exhibit, created by Imagine Exhibitions, utilizes the stories of seven 19th-century visionaries to explore the power of imagination and creative problem solving. Visitors will also discover the important intersections of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), art, history and reading.

The visionary authors featured in “Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure” are: Mary Shelley, the English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel “Frankenstein;” Jules Verne, the French novelist, poet and playwright who wrote bestselling adventure novels including “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas,” and “Around the World in Eighty Days;” and H.G. Wells, the science fiction author who wrote “The Time Machine,” “War of the Worlds” and the “The Invisible Man” and who is often remembered today as the “father of science fiction.” Joining them are four influential Victorian-era inventors: Isaac Singer, who developed the sewing machine; Thomas Blanchard, who worked on automation and the first automobiles; George Eastman, who helped popularize photography; and Jan Matzeliger, the son of a Surinamese slave, whose inventions made decent footwear accessible to the masses.

The annual Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala returns on Sat., March 5, 2022 and will once again recognize individuals whose work, like that of Discovery Park, brings enlightenment, inspiration and education to those whose lives they’ve touched. The 2022 honorees are Anita Kay Archer, LtGen John “Glad” Castellaw (Ret.), Dr. Ron Kirkland and Jerry Reese.

Among other events returning in 2022 is the Rhythm on the Rails Summer Concert Series on Friday evenings May 6 to June 22. This family-friendly festival will feature live performances at the Train Depot, food trucks and fishing at Discovery Park’s lake.

Discovery Park 2022 Events Calendar 


Children 17 and under receive admission 

January 2022

Temporary Exhibit: “The Fascinating World of Murray Hudson’s Globes and Maps”

Dec. 2, 2021 to March 1, 2022

The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala 

March 5, 2022

Educational Greenhouse

Spring 2022

Military History and Armed Forces Symposium 

April 22 and 24, 2022

Rhythm on the Rails Summer Concert Series

Friday evenings in May and June 2022

Cardboard Boat Regatta

May 14, 2022

Temporary Exhibit: “Southern Artist Showcase: Hattie Marshall-Duncan”

May 27 to Oct. 24, 2022

Discovery Park Cruise-in

June 4, 2022

“Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure”

June 18, 2022 to Jan. 8, 2023

Independence Day Celebration

July 2, 2022

Antique Tractor Show

August 5 and 6, 2022

David Crockett Birthday 

August 13, 2022

9/11 Stair Climb and First Responders Appreciation Day

September 10, 2022

Discovery Dash 5K/10K and Pediatric Day

September 17, 2022

Southern Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival

September 24 and 25, 2022

Pumpkin Village

October 2022

Let it Glow Light Show Drive-thru and Walk-thru

Nov. 11 to Dec. 30, 2022, closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

A complete calendar of events with details can be found at

All events are subject to change.

Photo caption: “Discover Steampunk: A Fantastical Hands-On Adventure,” coming to Discovery Park of America June 18, 2022 to Jan. 8, 2023, focuses on creative problem solving using functional art sculptures modeled after famous historical figures.

Photo caption: A group of students from the Fulton County Middle School Academic Team and the Milan High School AP Human Geography class recently enjoyed a presentation from Murray Hudson about his collection of rare globes and maps. The exhibit will be on display at Discovery Park of America through March 1, 2022.

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